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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Vilas Associates Competition

Deadline to apply: November 10, 2017.

Apply online


All tenure-track assistant professors and tenured faculty within 20 years of their tenure date are eligible to apply for this award.

About the Award

The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and on-going research of the highest quality and significance. Recipients are chosen competitively by the divisional Research Committees on the basis of a detailed proposal. Winners receive up to two-ninths of research salary support (including the associated fringe costs) for both summers 2018 and 2019, as well as a $12,500 flexible research fund in each of the two fiscal years. Faculty paid on an annual basis are not eligible for the summer salary support but are eligible for the flexible fund portion of this award. This award cannot be awarded more than one time to any faculty member.

Departments or programs with fewer than 15 faculty members, or a formally constituted interdepartmental group of six or more faculty members may nominate one individual. Departments, programs or formally constituted interdepartmental groups with 15 or more faculty may nominate up to two individuals.

Submission procedure

Nomination materials must be submitted electronically online. Please follow the online submission instructions. If you experience any problems uploading PDFs to the submission site, please email PDFs to Laila Robbins ( Each nomination should include three elements:

  1. a department or program letter of nomination
  2. a research proposal written by the candidate
  3. the candidate’s full CV.

The letter of nomination should be brief and limited to an articulation of the candidate’s division, the process by which the candidate was chosen, and a description of the candidate’s research area and its significance. Do not exceed 300 words.

The research proposal should describe a single project relevant to the candidate’s field of study that can be accomplished in the two-year period of the award. The proposed project can be part of a larger study, but it will be important for the candidate to specify the work to be done during the period of the Vilas Associates award and the expected use of the flexible research fund. This proposal cannot exceed four double-spaced pages, not including references.

Contingencies: Faculty receiving summer salary from the Vilas Associates Program cannot receive summer support simultaneously from the Research Committee; therefore, any summer support awarded by the committee for summers 2018 or 2019 would be withdrawn to permit acceptance of the Vilas Associates award. The terms of the Vilas Associates Program stipulate that the periods for which the Vilas grants are awarded are not negotiable. The maximum stipend for summer 2017 has been capped by the Trustees at $9,744 per month.

Questions regarding the nomination process should be posed to Laila Robbins (890-4266) or to the Associate Vice Chancellor appropriate to your division (262-1044). Contact our Information Technology Team ( with any IT-related questions.

Administration of Vilas Awards


  • The award covers two fiscal years; the periods for which the grant is awarded are not negotiable.
  • A new fund 133 account will be created for each year and is assigned by Research and Sponsored Programs.
  • Account number and allowable expenditure questions should be directed to Research and Sponsored Program’s Angie Stenli, (608) 890-3147,
  • The award is set up and administered through the winner’s own department/college.
  • The award provides for each year: 2/9ths summer salary for award winner and a flexible research fund (see more details below).

Account Number

  • RSP will assign two 133 accounts, one for each of the two fiscal years.
  • Account assignment is made in May, prior to the start of that fiscal year.

Processing of expenditure forms

  • The winner’s department processes all expenditure forms (IADS, payroll, requisition, etc.) through their own college.

Faculty Summer Salary

  • Faculty who are paid on an annual (12 month) basis are not eligible for the summer salary portion of a Vilas Associate award.
  • Summer salary is provided only for the July and August pay periods (payable August 1 and September 1), no exceptions are allowed.
  • Vilas Associate summer salary is limited to the 2/9ths of the lowest paid full Vilas Professor. In cases where the Vilas Associate’s academic year salary is greater than that Vilas Professor, the Vilas Associate’s summer salary amount will be equal to the 2/9ths of the full Vilas Professor’s salary.
  • Fringe benefits associated with faculty summer salary payments are provided as part of this award.

Flexible Funds

  • A flexible fund is provided for each of the two fiscal years. Flexible funds not spent during that fiscal year are lost, a carryover of the fiscal-year-end balance is not allowed. Per the terms of the Vilas Trust, there are NO exceptions.
  • Flexible funds may not be used to provide additional salary support for the award winner or other faculty members.
  • If flexible funds are used for other salary support, the associated fringe benefit and tuition remission charges will also be paid from the flexible fund.
  • Items purchased with flexible funds are subject to the same State rules, guidelines, and procedures as items purchased on State GPR funds (fund 101).